The Indiana Pacers needed a home victory to force a decisive Game 7, and they may have done a little more than just set up the seventh game. They may have made the Cavaliers question their chances to advance past the first round, as the Pacers pounded the Cavaliers in Friday's Game 6 for a 121-87 blowout. Victor Oladipo posted his first-career postseason triple double with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists, as the Pacers shot a stellar 56 percent from the floor, including a 50 percent mark from three-point range. The win moves them one step closer to advancing to their first Eastern Conference semifinal series since 2014. Although, LeBron James is 12-0 all-time in first-round series, but the Pacers have already overcome multiple obstacles in this series. Their Game-1 victory snapped James' 21-game winning streak in the first round, while their victory Friday night snapped the Cavaliers' 14-game win streak in closeout games, dating back to 2009, as well as James' personal 11-game streak in those contests. "King James" finished with 22 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, in Friday's loss, where Cleveland trailed by as many as 25 points. Kevin Love struggled after hurting his wrist midway through the game, as he had just six points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor. The Cavs will return home for their first Game 7 since the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
Jazz, Raptors Move on in Game 6
Two teams did not need a Game 7 to move on to the second round on Friday night, including the Utah Jazz, who got past the "super team" of the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 96-91 Game-6 victory. Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points to lead the Jazz, who used a big third quarter to pull away, as they scored 37 points in those 12 minutes to go ahead for good after halftime. Mitchell's effort made him the third rookie in the past 35 years to have multiple 30-point games in a playoff series, joining Alonzo Mourning and Michael Jordan. At one point in the game, the young phenom made 10 straight shots. His big game helped overcome Russell Westbrook's 46-point showing, as Steven Adams added a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. After the game, Westbrook swiped at one fan's phone and got in his face on the way to the locker room, showing clear frustration of the early exit. Meanwhile, the Jazz move on to battle the Houston Rockets in the second round, beginning on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors took care of business on the road, eliminating the Washington Wizards with a 102-92 victory. Kyle Lowry had 24 points, as the Raptors overcame a halftime deficit in a road playoff game for the first time in 24 tries. They trailed by 10 after one quarter, including by as many as 12, but were able to cut that deficit down to three by the break, and then held the Wizards to just 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull away late. They can thank their bench players, who outscored the Wizards' bench, 21-6, and outrebounded them, 15-3, in the second half. Bradley Beal had 32 points and John Wall added 23 points and eight assists in what was the Wizards' final game. The Raptors will now move on to take on the winner of the Cavaliers-Pacers series, which will be decided in Sunday's Game 7.
Jets Open Up Second Round With Big Road Win
The Winnipeg Jets took care of the Minnesota Wild in the first round, but seemed to be out of their element in the second round against the defending Western Conference champion, Nashville Predators. Although, the Jets made a major statement on the road in Friday's game one, as Connor Hellebuyck made 47 saves in a 4-1 win for the early series lead. Despite the Jets advancing in the postseason for just the first time in over a decade, they did end as the number two team in the NHL, right behind the Predators. This is the first series ever between the two teams with the most regular season points, as the Predators won the President's Trophy with 117 points, and the Jets finished right behind them at 114 points. Mark Scheifle scored twice on Friday night, including an empty-netter late, as the Jets made the most of few opportunities in a game that they were out-shot, 48-19. Brandon Tanev and Paul Stastny also scored, as the Jets stole home-ice advantage from the Predators, who had won 11 of their past 14 playoff games at Bridgestone Arena. Kevin Fiala scored the lone goal for the Predators, who put pressure on Hellebuyck early, but have nothing to show for it. The Jets scored first for a sixth straight playoff game, as they will look to keep the series advantage in Game 2, which is in Nashville on Sunday night.